This is my final post as your President. It has certainly been an eventful two years, culminating in one of the strangest (and ugliest) Presidential elections in modern history. Here is my summary of the 2016 elections results ... that I call The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
Kamala Harris was elected to the U.S, Senate, outpacing fellow Democrat Loretta Sanchez. Kamala will be assuming the seat of Barbara Boxer who has faithfully served California and the nation for almost 25 years.
We in Camarillo and Ventura County returned Julia Brownley to Congress, representing the 26th Congressional District. We also returned Hannah-Beth Jackson to the California State Senate, 19th District, and Jacqui Irwin to the California State Assembly, 44th District. Monique Limon was elected to the California State Assembly, 37th District, replacing Das Williams; some of the unincorporated portions of Camarillo lie in Monique's district.
The good news continues ... many of our club members supported Henry Stern who won a hotly contested race to the California State Senate, 27th District, which abuts Camarillo. Henry succeeds his former boss, Fran Pavley, who was the leading climate change legislator in the country, thanks in part to Henry's efforts as her aide.
The bottom line is that it was all good news as far as the state races went ... and we even have a supermajority in both the California Senate and Assembly!
Donald Trump ran a truly divisive, scorched-earth campaign, replete with personal insults, bellicose threats, and any number of mean-spirited tweets and rants. He now wants us to forgive and forget, but I for one cannot erase his ugly tactics from my mind.
We will now find out which of his outrageous proposals he plans to keep and which ones will be discarded as simple fodder for the unenlightened masses. He is already walking back his promises to jail Hillary, build a continuous wall (maybe it will include a fence now), ban Muslims from entering the country, and repeal Obamacare (in turns out he likes some of its provisions). However, Trump is loading his cabinet with arch-conservatives, some of whom may carry out policies far to the right of Trump's own inclinations (such as Obamacare and Medicare).
In my view, Trump will face two huge problems in the coming months. First, his rabid supporters are going to turn on him if he breaks his promises. Second, his business conflicts of interest and legal problems will embroil him in controversy and might force impeachment proceedings, even though the Congress is held by the GOP.
As for the national Democratic Party, what in the hell happened????
Many observers are starting to blame party insiders for not paying attention to the economic plight of the white working class living in "fly-over" country; the working class has been screaming about being left behind since the 2008 financial debacle and even before that. While the country's elites in both parties were promoting "free trade" agreements like NAFTA and TPP, the working class was being financially decimated. And no one was there to lift a finger as factories closed throughout the rust belt. Well, like it or not, Donald Trump saw an opportunity and played these voters like a violin. He spoke their language using the skills he's honed in The Art of the Deal. Of course we know he won't return their factories or enact any protective tariffs or take any other actions that will help these benighted denizens of the rust belt, but he certainly played to their concerns.
Democrats still sit in two camps, the Hillary people and the ousted Berners. The Bernie people are saying "I told you so" in a half-hearted manner. Would Bernie have prevailed against Trump? It is hard to say since he wasn't exposed to the vicious assault that Hillary encountered. Meanwhile, the Hillary people are genuinely confused as true believers tend to be. They have discovered a country that is not nearly as enlightened as they had thought. In their grief, many Hillary supporters have been applying condescending epithets to the Trump voters ... labeling them as racists, misogynists, homophobes, and so forth. Others think that the Bernie wing of the Party didn't support Hillary the way they should have.
And so it goes. The national Democratic Party is going to have to come to grips with its failures, do an objective analysis, and retool. I personally think the Party needs to reengage with the white working class while continuing its progressive agenda with respect to women's rights, minorities, and the LGBT community. It isn't going to be easy, especially since the top leadership of the Party is simply too old or too elitist to continue in their roles. New leaders must be found from the grassroots activists.
So I will leave it here. Angus Simmons will be your new President as of December 3rd, and he will have the floor ... The next post in January will be his.
So long ...